Saturday,16 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1164, (12 - 18 September 2013)
Saturday,16 December, 2017
Issue 1164, (12 - 18 September 2013)

Ahram Weekly

Accusations aplenty

Dozens of detained Muslim Brotherhood leaders face an array of charges, reports Ahmed Morsy

MB Leaders
MB Leaders
Al-Ahram Weekly

Egypt’s prosecution has declared that the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie will stand trial over clashes in which several demonstrators were killed. Along with Badie, there are 14 top MB figures from which ousted president Mohamed Morsi hails, who will stand trial at a date yet to be decided.
Among those to be tried are senior Brotherhood member Mohamed Al-Beltagui and Islamist preacher Safwat Hegazi as well as former minister of supply Bassem Ouda and deputy head of the Freedom and Justice Party Essam Al-Erian.
They are to be prosecuted in relation to the deaths of seven people on 16 July on the sidelines of a demonstration in Cairo calling for Morsi’s reinstatement. Morsi was deposed on 3 July.
Badie’s first trial is due to resume on 29 October. He as well as his deputy Khairat Al-Shater, who is also in jail, are charged of involvement in the death of protesters who stormed and torched Brotherhood headquarters on 30 June when millions of people went onto the streets demanding Morsi’s resignation.
Following the ouster of Morsi, dozens of MB leaders were detained on an array of charges, mostly relating to inciting violence.
A Cairo court adjourned on Saturday the trial of MB leader Al-Beltagui and preacher Hegazi to 5 October as they both face charges of abducting and assaulting two policemen in July at Rabaa Al-Adawiya, the site of a six-week sit-in by pro-Morsi protesters.
The two Islamist leaders, along with two medics from the field hospital of the Rabaa sit-in, face charges of forming a gang with the purpose of preventing the enforcement of law, resisting the authorities, and preventing policemen from doing their work, as well as thuggery. They both deny the charges.
Hegazi was arrested near the Libyan borders on 21 August, while Al-Beltagui who was spotted in a Giza village, was arrested on 29 August. Both, who are now in jail pending investigation and charged with several accusations, also face other charges of inciting violence during clashes between Morsi’s supporters, opponents and security forces.
Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, will face trial in a criminal court for committing and inciting violence. Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat referred the 62-year-old Morsi and 14 other MB members last week to a criminal court on charges of committing acts of violence, and inciting killings in December 2012.
Morsi is also charged in another older case. A Cairo court last month ordered renewal of his detention for 30 days pending investigations into his alleged collaboration with the Palestinian group Hamas in prison breaks in early 2011, during the revolution against former president Hosni Mubarak. Morsi was in a Cairo jail at the time of the riots.
As most senior MB leaders are in jail, precautionary measures are being taken so as not to let them meet together. On Wednesday, Egypt’s Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim ordered the removal of General Mustafa Al-Baz from his post as head of the Prisons Authority. The reshuffle comes amid reports that Al-Baz facilitated communication between detained Islamists by turning a blind eye to meetings that took place in jail between MB leaders and other Islamists, as well as allowing them to communicate with others outside prison. The sacking, however, was not officially explained.
Al-Baz, who occupied the post since 10 June, will be replaced by General Mohamed Rateb, the minister of interior’s assistant for ports security.
On the other hand, the authorities began investigating Morsi’s family wealth and assets on Saturday. Egypt’s prosecutor-general opened the investigation into the ousted Islamist president’s wealth after a report was filed by the head of an anti-corruption association.
The report accuses Morsi of taking advantage of his post and squandering $285.7 million during his presidential electoral campaign. The committee is expected to submit a report in the coming days to Egypt’s Illicit Gains Office, the Public Funds Investigation Authority and the Administrative Control Authority.
The report will look into an inventory of all the properties including land and real estate of the ousted president and his family. Their bank accounts and shares in the stock market — if any — will also be examined.
In Suez, an Egyptian military court sentenced 11 of Morsi’s supporters to life imprisonment on Tuesday for attacking the army. They were accused of injuring seven soldiers with birdshot and throwing petrol bombs at military buildings in the city of Suez on 14 August.
The MB, from which Morsi hails, is in its worst crisis since a similar attempt to suppress it in the 1950s. Late last week, a panel of Egyptian judges recommended the legal dissolution of the MB as a legally registered non-governmental organisation.
The judicial panel told an administrative court to dissolve the non-governmental organisation after opponents had challenged the Brotherhood’s legal status and funding. The case was brought against the group in March, with the next session of the court hearing the case scheduled for 12 November.
Judges convicted the Brotherhood of violating the law, and recommended their headquarters in Cairo be closed. The panel’s recommendation is not binding.

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